Marketo’s domain expired (Lessons to learn)

Marketo didn’t renew their domain.

And then it expired…

Yeah, that just happened. Marketo, which was once ranked #1 among marketing software companies, forgot to renew their domain name and it expired earlier today. As of writing this article, is still offline, but from a recent tweet issued by their Twitter account, we should expect the marketing giant to be back online soon. UPDATE: Site is back up, but DNS is still propagating.

So what’s next for Marketo?


I’m positive that they’ll have an interesting next few days – to say the least.

  • Their PR team is probably counting all their new grey hairs
  • Their development team will most likely undergo a full audit – we might even see some new team members
  • Their web team will be making sure this never happens again

What can we learn from Marketo’s mistakes & their response?

1. Auto-renew your domains

Securing a domain name is typically the first step in a long process of building a brand. In fact, I’ve known so many type-A leaders who purchase a domain name years before their vision is realized as an actual company.

Marketo’s domain was first created in 2002. If we make the assumption that they were renewing the domain every 5 years, it looks like whoever was sitting in the driver’s seat recently dropped the ball.

After a quick Whois lookup, we can see that the Marketo team has already renewed the domain until 2021. Good job team. In case they need to read up more on auto renewing a domain, I found a setup guide from Network Solutions, theirย registrar. Hope that helps!ย ๐Ÿ˜†

Whois lookup on

Add-on takeaway:

Leaving your name server as is bad DNS practice for such a massive organization.

2. Build a brand that people love and they’ll have your back

Early this morning, The Amazing Travis Prebble saw this issue with and he decided to step in and take action.

At first, it seemed as though The Amazing Travis Prebble might be swooping in to snag the domain, but after a closer look, we see that he was just doing something good for the company. He obviously believed in the product and wanted to see the issue resolved.


And when the doubters hit again, The Amazing Travis Prebble confirmed that he was, in fact, a simple Good Samaritan.


It’s for this very reason that great brands, such as Marketo, result in great brand ambassadors. When they needed help (and positive PR), The Amazing Travis Prebble stepped up and sent some really great vibes to Marketo. Cheers, Mr. Prebble.

3. Wield your social media power wisely

With an issue of this magnitude, it’s important to have a plan of attack when it comes to social media. In this particular case, social media was really the only outlet – cough cough – since Marketo probably wasn’t sending many emails today…

In the case of today’s bungle, Marketo kept it real. No deflecting. No pointing fingers. They assumed responsibility and kept the world up to date on their progress. Here’s a prime example below. A critic stepped in and Marketo fired back with truth bombs.ย ๐Ÿ’ฃ๐Ÿ’ฃ๐Ÿ’ฃ


Then, after this critic’s response, Marketo got real again with a truly poignant GIF that’s sure to give any social media manager the feels.

Genuinely sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Absolutely justified in being less than impressed. (This will be me later) – Lisa

โ€” Marketo (@marketo) July 25, 2017

UPDATE: This previous response has been removed, but here’s that GIF.



Final Thoughts.

Marketo just had a really bad day.

But, it wasn’t just a bad day for Marketo. It was a bad day for every user of their platform. No access to their content. Reports of scheduled emails being sent, but broken links throughout. Again, it was a bad day all around. Here’s one of my favorite tweets from today that sums up just how monumental of an issue it was:

However, regardless of how bad it was for Marketo and their users alike, it was the response to the issue that really made the day turn around. Marketo took immediate control of the situation, responded well to critics, and embraced the support of their brand ambassadors.ย ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

What would you have done differently in response to this disaster? Anything I missed in key takeaways? Drop a comment below.

11 thoughts on “Marketo’s domain expired (Lessons to learn)

  1. Sorry for all those who read this blog earlier today and were unable to comment. I had comments off and then I realized my traffic to this page had exploded. So – feel free to comment. Let me know if I missed any takeaways.

  2. Why are some users able to login and see Marketo forms hosted on their website, but those still unable to login are still experiencing issues and aren’t able to view the hosted forms?

  3. Great article Jason – my ‘underling’ take-away is ‘We all have bad days’ and can recover – keep a cool head and Kudos to Travis for ‘saving the day’! (Yes, the entire article’s comments/suggestions are golden as well.)

  4. Thanks Phillis! That’s the truth. Bad things happens, but it’s the response to the situation that helps to define you. Cheers.

  5. Outstanding article Jason. Well written and very timely. Interestingly, we used Marketo at a Telco company last year and I thought their whole program was garbage.

  6. Thanks for your comments, Michael. I’ve recently fully-embraced the marketing checklist from Jay Baer: Is it timely? Is it targeted? Is it relevant?

    That’s my new mantra when it comes to content. Cheers.

    Very interesting review of Marketo. Anything stick out the most from their program that you were unhappy with?

  7. Hey Jason! Is that from his Youtiliy program? I think it has a fantastic framework but like anything, it’s only useful if you use it!

    We used Marketo for a large UK based Telco company. FTSE listed, $500mil valuation. Marketo was clunky to use, had a terrible interface and difficult process.

    Their tracking of site behaviour was very good. I liked being able to attribute user activity to subscriber entries. It also worked pretty well with Salesforce.

    This was over a year ago that I was using it. But their email builder was outdated and pretty messy. Everything was done with a Win95 style folder interface which made navigation a nightmare.

    The landing page builder was drag and drop – but not responsive. If you wanted a responsive template you had to download one, buy one and only then build using HTML. Like I mentioned, it was over a year ago and maybe they’ve had significant updates.

    Automation was REALLY badly done and so difficult to use that we had to invest a lot of time in figuring out how best to use the platform. No platform is 100% perfect. But easily allowing users to create automation is something we wanted to do easily.

    Finally, reporting was detailed. But we had to dig deep into the data to build anything worthwhile.

    Overall, I would have preferred to use Infusionsoft for the project. Their reporting sucks, but building programs and automation is a lot more intuitive.

    Anywho. The article you wrote is brilliant. Lots of images and embeds. Timely AND still has some timeless points. Bravo!

  8. I’m actually not sure where he actually talks about those 3 points. lol. We recently interviewed Michael Barber, who worked for Jay years back and he mentioned Timely/Targeted/Relevant on the show and it’s stuck with me.

    Hate to hear that about Marketo. I have’t used the software directly, but I work with a company out of Canada who does really great work to fill the gaps on a lot of points you mentioned with email, landing pages, and automation. If you are ever in a position to use Marketo again, be sure to check out Knak. ( <– Tell Pierce I sent you. Haha

    And thanks again. It was a fun test and I am working on setting a goal to force myself to write a timely/targeted/relevant article every 1-2 weeks. Cheers.

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